What is the best external hard drive?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by gothamm, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. gothamm macrumors 6502a

    Nov 18, 2007
    whats important to me is portability, design, and reliability...and i suppose speed too.

    out of the batch, i really like western digital's passport drive. its handy, portable, and looks nice and sleek.

    is there any thing on the market thats better?

    please share your experiences.
  2. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020


    Jul 21, 2004
  3. Vader macrumors 65816


    Oct 11, 2004
    Saint Charles, MO
    Another vote here for G-Drive, if you don't mind paying the premium, they are very nice to look at, go perfectly with the mac's design, and are quiet and run cool due to the heat sync.
  4. gothamm thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 18, 2007
    that mini version sounds nice. but why so pricey?
  5. xer0 macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2007
    I currently have 2 250 gig western digital passport drives. 1 in white to be used as the back up drive for time machine and 1 in black to be used to swap and share files between my PC and MB.

    I absolutely love these things. The one I use for the time machine backup drive had to be formatted of course but after that I was able to do the initial time machine back up in about an hour. The black one I didn't have to format it came formatted as a larger FAT32 drive so I was able to use it for PC and MAC.

    So far I have had no problems and they come with 3 year warranties from Western Digital.
  6. crazycat macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2005
    I have used both hard drives and i like them both the same. I would recommend the G-drive since you can get them in firewire which is 2 to 3 times faster then usb 2.0.
  7. Koodauw macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2003
    FW 400 & 800. and USB 2.0 Most portable externals dont have that kind of connectivity.

    That said, I have one ad love it!
  8. Mydel macrumors 6502a


    Apr 8, 2006
    Sometimes here mostly there
    Newer tech Ministack2 or 3 are really cool drives. And they size matches footprint of ABS so you can keep one on top of the another. Not so expensive too.
  9. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    id recommend a macpower external case with a HD of your own choice (hitachi or seagate preferably)
  10. danny_w macrumors 601

    Mar 8, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Unfortunately the g-raid only supports RAID 0 (striped), not RAID 1 (mirrored). I don't trust any hard disk that is going to operate 24/7 unless it is RAID 1 or better for redundancy sake.
  11. desenso macrumors 6502a


    May 25, 2005
    Seagates come with a 5 year warranty. That's pretty much the clincher for me.
  12. nikehair macrumors member

    Nov 27, 2007
    I've heard great things about G-Drives. You can also try buying an external enclosure and putting your own drive in there.
  13. FoxyKaye macrumors 68000


    Jan 23, 2004
    Livermore, Terre d'Ange, Bas Lag, Gallifrey
    Using both G-Technology and Lacie D2 Quad here - no complaints about either yet. Although the D2 sounds like one of those old IBM typewriters at times, but usually only when it's starting up.

    Also hard good things about Seagate, though don't own one.
  14. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I have both a Lacie and WD My book fw/usb. I have found both to be equally loud, though the mybook appears to be more tolerant of things such as massive data transfers. My Lacie also failed less than a year after purchase. Dollar for dollar the WD is a better value.
  15. GregE macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2007
  16. GregE macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2007
    Isn't this in RAID 1?

  17. danny_w macrumors 601

    Mar 8, 2005
    Austin, TX
    You're right, I somehow missed that one. Very expensive though (as are all g-tech drives). Are g-tech drives really good enough to justify their higher price tag? I noticed they only have a 2-year warranty.

    EDIT: This looks to be the same exact chassis as the CoolGear (http://www.cooldrives.com/dusahddfiusb.html). Assuming it is, building your own would save considerably and end up with a better warrany on the drives if you got Seagates.

    CoolGear 3610-WAC - $370
    Seagate 7200.11 1TB drives - $300 x 2

    TOTAL: $970 vs. G-SAFE 1TB $1500

    Does anybody have experience with CoolGear/CoolDrives?
  18. kylos macrumors 6502a


    Nov 8, 2002
    I would recommend getting a drive and enclosure separately on newegg.com. It can be much cheaper that way. I've purchased Seagate 320 GB 7200 rpm SATA drives and not had problems. I've had two extremely bad Hitachi drives out of the box and would stay away from them.

    As for enclosures, I've not had any problems with the AZIO model with USB 2.0 and eSata (for even faster transfers than possible with usb or firewire). It has a decent looking aluminum enclosure and costs about $30. I've not had any problems with overheating.
  19. Sweetfeld28 macrumors 65816


    Feb 10, 2003
    Buckeye Country, O-H
    I don't know what the Best would be but, this is one sexy External.

    I think i might have to pick one of these up.
  20. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I have a 320GB WD My Book which works very, very well. I've heard people say theirs are loud but I can't even hear my drive drive spin up. My favorite part is that it only powers up when it's plugged in to the USB port. Once you disconnect it, the drive automatically powers down.

    Unless you're doing a lot of big file editing (movies, large photos, etc) USB is fine (especially if you're using Time Machine). The initial backup can take a few hours but after that you won't even notice it backing up.
  21. Craiger77 macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2004
    Seattle, USA
    These Iomega Drives look similar to the G-Drives and their specs are impressive, but I don't what their reputation is. They are definitely a lot cheaper!
  22. HazChem macrumors regular


    Oct 26, 2006
    I really like the Drobo and the concept of being able to add and switch hard drives without worrying about losing data. I am waiting for a version to come out with Firewire. I sure hope it happens soon.
  23. danny_w macrumors 601

    Mar 8, 2005
    Austin, TX
    That looks like a very good idea. My company toyed with the idea of producing disk virtualization products a while back but we never did it. Unfortunately, it is only USB at this time and it also appears to have some serious bugs (see http://www.drobospace.com/). It's also quite pricey for home use, but the extra price may be offset by the ease of use if it really works. The founder, Dr. Geoff Barrall, seems to have quite a distinguished history, which speaks well for the company. Definitely something to keep an eye on!
  24. FelixDerKater Contributor


    Apr 12, 2002
    Nirgendwo in Amerika
    I would avoid the Western Digital MyBook line. By price, they are a great deal, but mine failed within three months of purchase. WD's support center in India's response has been, "Call back later. We are currently out of stock of replacements."
  25. liberty4all Guest


    Jan 7, 2007

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